Tuesday, June 25, 2019

REVIEW: 'Good Trouble' - Callie Hits Her Breaking Point with Judge Wilson While Davia Needs Advice in 'Torn'

Freeform's Good Trouble - Episode 2.02 "Torn"

Mariana's new relationship complicates her work environment. Callie is struggling to make decisions that will disrupt both her career and love life. Malika questions her involvement in activism. Davia juggles the men in her life.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Freeform's Good Trouble.

"Torn" was written by Joanna Johnson and directed by Peter Paige

The premiere teased that consequences were finally coming for Callie. That wasn't a new tease. The show had hit that particular beat many times previously. And yet, this hour absolutely delivers on that front. Callie is no longer a clerk for Judge Wilson. Sure, it's ultimately revealed that it was her decision to leave the office. That comes after the episode previously led everyone to believe that she was fired and struggling to find work elsewhere. It also shows how Wilson was so lenient with Callie simply because he liked her spirit and convictions. He sees the clerkship as a program to help young legal minds actually adjust to the realities of the law and the system. However, he carried very different standards for the people of this world. He was an ally to Callie and Rebecca in their times of need. He doesn't want to punish Callie too severely for Malika's actions. He does want to press charges against Malika though. That could dramatically change her entire life. She had every right to be angry and upset that the system failed to provide justice for yet another black man who was killed by police. She saw just how much influence the judge actually had over the entire trial. He was the one who decided the ultimate fate not the actual jury. That too is a very searing statement. One that could pose many consequences to her because she is going up against a man in a significant position of power. Judge Wilson has never really been checked in such a way either. His decisions have always been respected and appreciated. But he doesn't truly understand the system he presides over. Callie and Malika continually point out that the system works differently for communities of color and other marginalized groups. Sure, it's a little unclear if these actions will ultimately stick longterm. Roger Bart is still credited as a series regular after all. So, that means Callie will either end up back in his office or he'll preside over another case that has some connection to the main characters at the Coterie. The first option could be likely because Callie fails the bar exam. That is a crushing moment. It was a foreshadowed a little too heavily throughout the episode though. Her search for a job was always contingent on her passing the bar. As such, it would only be dramatically satisfying and disruptive to her plans if she failed. That creates many new obstacles for her. It also brings new clarity to her personal life because she reaches out to Jamie in the aftermath to deal with it all. That further strengthens their bond. It ultimately doesn't matter that she kissed Gael in the premiere. Now, Gael is also moving on with someone new who happens to be the ex-boyfriend he was in love with once upon a time. That's exciting. Elsewhere, Mariana's drama at Speckulate is defined by the awkwardness that comes from not knowing how to speak up or actually say no in a business setting. Mariana has the trust and respect of Evan. He is aware of the issues impacting women in his business. And yet, he doesn't know how to address these problems. He would rather just hand over the responsibilities to someone with the passion to address them. But that also makes Mariana feel overwhelmed. Plus, Evan seems to take retaliatory actions upon seeing Mariana and Raj having sex in the office. That too could show that these issues of sexism are systemic even for those who believe they weren't actively choosing to discriminate in such a way. But that too ties into the overall idea that it's hard for people to actually commit to change especially when it comes to being better people. Both Davia and Dennis know they have to put in the work in order to deal with their issues. It's easier to do nothing or stay silent though. And yet, that's not productive in the long run. Sure, they may be placing all of their hopes on each other at the moment. That can't be enough to help them through their current struggles. However, it is still very comforting in the moment.